On our trip to visit Ford’s design center, we had the chance to meet with J Mays, the Chief Creative Officer at Ford Motor Company, who offered us a wealth of knowledge about his influential role at Audi, Volkswagen, and now Ford.
He noted that the nature of changing automotive designs throughout the year was based more upon the culture and lifestyle values, which are shared and reflected in all the cars from a particular decade.
As Mr. Mays stated, the shared design features which produced cars which are iconic of their decade are an effect of the general notion of the decade because the culture and lifestyles of a certain decade dictate car design.
Prior to learning this, I assumed the reason we have, for example cars produced during the 1960s which look uniquely like “60s cars” was due to either a Fad-Follower relationship between car designers in which industry leaders set the standards for car design trends which slowly percolate through the other car manufacturers through a given time period, or requirements mandated by public policy such as fuel efficiency, and safer, lighter and more compact cars, etc.
Although I am sure that the need for cars that adhere to stricter safety and fuel efficiency standards is a main component, I was surprised to learn that cars actually are a reflection of culture and lifestyle of a particular era.